Bruen will likely open flood gates on gun law challenges

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

To say the Bruen decision is important would be putting things far too mildly. If it did nothing else, it ended “may issue” gun permitting forever. States can no longer require people to provide a reason why they should be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights.


However, Bruen did a whole lot more than that. It laid out a testing framework that was a major departure from what existed before. It’s going to change a lot.

One thing we’re going to be expecting? A lot of challenges to gun laws.

Armed with the Supreme Court’s latest gun rights ruling on the right to carry firearms for self-defense, Second Amendment activists are rushing to lower courts to challenge laws ranging from age restrictions on handgun purchases to bans on types of firearms.

Targets include laws that existed before last month’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and new laws that Democrat-led states have rushed to enact in the wake of the 6-3 decision, which shot down New York’s restrictions on issuing concealed-carry permits.

“This is just the beginning of what is likely to be a tsunami of litigation commenced by gun rights-oriented plaintiffs,” said Mark W. Smith, a Second Amendment expert and a scholar at the Ave Maria School of Law.

“Just as Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark moment in dismantling the Jim Crow regime of ‘separate but equal,’ and in the ensuring of equal rights, so too is Bruen a landmark case that will pave the way for a fuller vindication of our civil rights under the Second Amendment,” Mr. Smith said.

Perhaps more importantly, though, was that Justice Clarence Thomas likely wrote as he did in hopes of spurring just such challenges.

For far too long, the Second Amendment has been viewed as a second-class right. As we noted earlier this week, those days are more or less over. However, there is still work to be done.


After all, the only law directly impacted by Bruen were those that required “good cause” for permits.

Yet the decision laid down the framework that was meant to, in time, upend gun control as we know it in this country.

So yeah, there are challenges coming. Tons of them for pretty much every bit of gun control you care to name. In time, I think we’ll see them all overturned, if not by the lower courts then by the Supreme Court.

And let’s not fool ourselves, this will be a glorious thing for all of us. Yes, even for those who oppose pretty much every pro-gun ruling that will follow. They’ll benefit from our freer society and the deterrent to violent crime presented by more armed citizens.

I love this country so much, but it’s even easier to love it when you know that free people will be able to act in their own best interests to protect themselves and others.

So challenges are coming and I, for one, am excited to see them.

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